The Bible has only one salvation message — salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). While the religious forms that God requires have changed a few times over the millennia, the condition of salvation has never changed — faith in the grace of God. The message of grace is not God giving man an easier way of salvation. Grace is the only way of salvation that God has ever had. It is impossible to be justified by the works of the law (Gal. 2:16). Neither religious forms nor good works save.

But man tends to extremes. In our day many expand grace’s anti-works platform to include the “obedience of faith” (Rom. 1:5). They reject commands and standards as contrary to grace and fault men as “legalists” for insisting that believers are obligated to keep the commands and standards of the New Testament. They insist that believers cannot be known by their fruit (changed lives) and accuse men of trusting in works because they trust verses like James 2:26, “As the body without breath is dead, so faith without works is dead.”

This is not hard to think through, if a man will think. When Jews in the OT times, like David, had their eyes opened to salvation by grace, they were not released from the obligation to observe the commands that God had given them. Likewise, in the NT times grace does not release the believer from the obligation to obey Christ.

~Lee Brainard, November 22, 2014

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